VSC Light on Toyota & Lexus – Meaning, Causes (How to Reset)

The VSC system controls the stability during slippery conditions. Here is what the VSC light means if it appears on your dashboard.

check vsc system

The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is installed in many Toyota & Lexus cars, and its job is to stabilize your car if it slides in harsh climatic conditions.

When the VSC system realizes that the car is losing traction, it will automatically remove engine power for certain wheels to correct your vehicle.

The VSC has reduced tons of road accidents during rainy, foggy, and snowy weather conditions.

Therefore, it is vital to check the VSC system on your Toyota or Lexus whenever it malfunctions.

What does the VSC Light mean?

The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) warning light indicates there is an issue with your traction control system, and your VSC and ABS will temporarily be out of function.

The VSC stands for vehicle stability control and is Toyota and Lexus way of handling traction control. Traction control helps you keep traction by reducing the power sent to your wheels.

The VSC works with the ABS. If you drive under blizzard conditions, the snow can interfere with the ABS sensors, prompting the check VSC system light to turn on.

If you see the “VSC OFF” sign on your dashboard, it means that the traction control is shut off completely and the traction control will not work if you lose traction.

If you have a newer car you can also see the “Check VSC system Light” message on your dashboard instead of the VSC light.

RELATED: BMW DSC light – Causes, Information, and Fixes

What causes the check VSC system light?

TCS off

Because the VSC system is integrated with the engine control and the brake control system to control your car’s traction, there are also a lot of things that can fail.

The most common causes of a VSC light are a faulty accelerator pedal, faulty throttle body, faulty ABS sensors, or a faulty mass airflow sensor.

The easiest way to find what caused your VSC light is to read the trouble code memory with a diagnostic scanner.

Which models are affected?

Toyota Camry

The VSC system is Toyota’s traction system. However, you will also find it in many Lexus cars. Here are some models with a VSC System:

  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Avensis
  • Toyota Verso
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Lexus RX400H
  • Lexus is250
  • Lexus is220d

How to reset the VSC light?

traction control off

There is an easy fix to try resetting the VSC light. Maybe it was just an intermittent problem causing the VSC light to come on. To reset your VSC light, try the following:

  1. Stop your car and put the gear in Park.
  2. Locate the VSC button. It is often near the gear stick, but it can also be at your steering wheel or behind it, depending on your car model.
  3. Press and hold the VSC button for some seconds.
  4. You will now see that the TRAC OFF and VSC OFF indicator lights will come on. Both the traction and VSC system are now off.
  5. Press the VSC button again for a second. Both the TRAC and VSC lights will turn off, and the systems are now reengaged.

If this does not work, you need to check the trouble codes and make real troubleshooting to find the problem. Take your car to a workshop if you do not have the knowledge to do it yourself.

RELATED: VDC Light – Causes & Fixes

How does the VSC system work?

The VSC is the car’s internal traction control system. Whenever you drive through slippery roads and lose traction, the system roars to life-giving you better steering ability. Each car’s wheels will have electronic sensors that communicate with the car’s Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

When the driver experiences steering control problems, the VSC automatically reduces engine speed while giving braking power to the wheels that need it the most.

The wheel sensors relay information about the horizontal and vertical motion of the wheels. Whenever you notice the check VSC system light coming on, you could be having problems with your sensors or the steering rack.

Written by:

Magnus is the owner and main author of MechanicBase. He has been working as a mechanic for over 10 years, and the majority of them specialized in advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting. He has also been a motorsport (drifting) driver for over 5 years.